Ah, it’s that time of the year again. The holidays are past, winter is back with a vengeance and the Super Bowl is just around the corner.
Sounds like the perfect time to whip up some hot, tasty party food! Over the past few years, we’ve noticed that Super Bowl snacks have gone far beyond the usual guacamole, chili and nachos. You’d almost think that the game was secondary to the increasingly elaborate edibles featured at Super Bowl parties with diehard tailgaters competing to see who can come up with the most over-the-top spread of gourmet goodies.
One of the hottest ingredients to catch on in the past year or two is gochujang, the spicy and savory condiment that has been characterized as “Korea’s answer to ketchup.” In Korean kitchens, gochujang is as common as ketchup is in the U.S., used in everything from soups to sauces, dips and marinades.
The flavor of gochujang goes far beyond that of ketchup, however. Deep, intense and savory with a hint of sweetness, it’s spicy, but not fiery. It’s a bold ingredient that cries out to be paired with all manner of foods, including pork.
That hearty, bold flavor is exactly what makes Spicy Gochujang Pork Puffs such an irresistible treat. Best of all, they’re incredibly easy to make. You can easily whip up a batch an hour or two before the game, ready to pop into the oven for a quick round of snacks whenever there’s a break in the action. A word of warning: they’re so mouthwateringly good that they may distract your guests from the action on the big screen.
Spicy Gochujang Pork Puffs
This deceptively simple snack uses only a handful of ingredients and takes only a few minutes to whip up. Tender, flaky puff pastry encases a savory-spicy pork filling that cooks in less than 30 minutes. Using frozen puff pastry saves loads of time and tastes like you made it from scratch.
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (1 package)
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 Tbsp gochujang Korean pepper paste
- 2 eggs
- 1 lb ground pork
- White and black sesame seeds
- Sriracha, Sweet Chili Sauce or Yuzu Pao for dipping
Remove the frozen puff pastry dough from the freezer to thaw at room temperature about 40 minutes before prepping the other ingredients.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in the gochujang and remove from the heat to cool.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix the ground pork, the onion/gochujang mixture and 1 egg. Set aside.
Unfold the thawed puff pastry sheets. They should still be cold. Place them on a lightly floured work surface and roll out slightly to make a 10″ x 10″ squares. Cut each square lengthwise to make four 5″ x 10″ rectangles.
Spoon 1/4 of the pork mixture down the middle of each pastry strip. Beat the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the beaten egg mixture onto the edges of the pastry strips that will overlap (see pictures at right; click to enlarge). Fold each side of the pastry around the pork filling to overlap, pressing gently to seal.
Place the sealed rolls on a baking sheet, seam side down, and pop them into the freezer for 15 minutes or so to firm them up slightly (makes them MUCH easier to cut). Remove the rolls from the freezer and cut each roll into 1- to 1 1/2-inch long pieces. Don’t worry if they seem a little lumpy or lopsided – the pastry will “puff” while they cook and any irregularities will disappear.
Arrange the cut pieces on baking sheets, seam side down. For a decorative touch, slash the top of each piece in a couple of places with a very sharp knife or razor blade. Brush the tops lightly with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 25 – 30 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.
Serve piping hot with sriracha or your favorite hot sauce for dipping. Makes about 32 pieces.
Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.
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